JULY 16, 2021 – The 2021 Seeds Canada Annual Meeting, hosted virtually from July 9-16, brought together seed industry members, stakeholders, and government representatives from across the country to discuss a range of policy priorities and issues impacting the sector.
This event also marked the organization’s inaugural Annual Meeting, following its launch in February of this year. “The strength of an industry coming together was on display at this meeting. Having representation from across the seed value chain under one roof – as shown at this meeting and going forward as Seeds Canada – will make us a stronger partner able to offer policy direction and member and client services from a broader base of understanding and resources,” said Seeds Canada President, Ellen Sparry.
The Welcome Session featured an address from CFIA President, Dr. Siddika Mithani, who spoke to the Seed Regulatory Modernization process, noting the Agency’s commitment to a full-scale review and openness to substantial change. Dr. Mithani also provided clarity on CFIA’s approach to Novel Products of Biotechnology. She acknowledged the need for innovators to have a clear path to market and clear regulatory guidance. Dr. Mithani noted the various joint opportunities and challenges facing the sector – from climate change mitigation efforts to the effective use of digitized information – and called for continued close collaboration between CFIA and Seeds Canada.
The meeting’s attendees also heard from Keynote speaker, New York Times bestselling author, Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry who spoke to change management and relationship building. Kendal Netmaker also addressed the meeting and spoke from an Indigenous persons worldview about his experiences and incorporating diversity and inclusion in the workplace and day-to-day life.
Seeds Canada’s work – whether it be policy or operational – is largely funnelled through various committees. All committees met as part of the Annual Meeting Proceedings. For more information about Seeds Canada committees, please contact Claudio Feulner or Krista Erickson.
In addition to these committees, the Annual Meeting also hosted a Seed Testing Workshop and Open Forum, a Meet and Greet with new Executive Director, Barry Senft, and a Closing Reception.
“We have a busy year ahead, but we have tremendous momentum and dedicated members and partners. Let’s harness that energy as we move the discussions had at this meeting forward into action and progress,” said Barry Senft, Seeds Canada Executive Director. “In the coming months, we will be undergoing a strategic planning process, and we look forward to your continued engagement.”
This event would not be possible without the generous support of our meeting sponsors, thank you.
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Seeds Canada is the leading voice of the seed sector in Canada, with members including analysts, breeders, distributors, processors, seed growers and other contributors to the industry, located from coast to coast. Seed is the vital first link in the agriculture value chain, contributing over $6 billion to the economy, employing more than 63,000 Canadians, and exporting more than $700 million annually.